I was originally going to make some sort of lentil dish with sautéed vegetables and kale. Something comforting, warm, healthy.
And then I remembered one very key thing.
Lentils are not photogenic.
They may taste good, but they do not look good.
But you know what they say...
When life gives you ugly lentils...
Make lentil burgers!
(Ok, so maybe only I say that).
Here they are. The ugly lentils. Don't worry, I'm going to make them into something pretty. You'll need about a cup of cooked lentils. Apparently you can buy them in a can as well, so if that floats your boat, then by all means go for it.
This recipe is somewhat reminiscent of my Black Bean Burgers, but with a different vegetable mix (and gluten free!) Since I needed the food processor to make the lentil patties, I decided to use it for chopping vegetables too. This will make the recipe go oh so fast. Dump about 20-25 baby carrots in, along with a small yellow onion that's been peeled and quartered and 3-4 cloves of garlic. Give it a few pulses until everything is pretty well chopped. Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan and add this mixture to the pan.
While that's heating, chop up the shitake mushrooms in the same manner.
Once the carrots and onions have started to soften a bit, add the mushrooms. Cook until all of the vegetables are soft and the mushrooms have released their liquid, about 5-10 minutes.
While that's cooking, make your chia paste. This is a little trick that will help bind everything together without using eggs. (In case you want to make these vegan). Simply add 2 tablespoons warm water to 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and let it sit for 15 minutes. It will turn into a paste situation that you'll add to the mixture in a bit.
At this point, it will look like this. Perhaps even less appetizing than the plain lentils. Not to worry. The transformation is happening soon. Stir in the coarsely chopped olives. (I wanted there to be bigger olive chunks, but if you want everything uniform, you can toss them in with everything else while processing). Refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes to help everything firm up.
I used 1/3 measuring cup to portion them out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. I ended up with 6 patties that were each about 1 tablespoon more than 1/3 of a cup. (I added a spoonful to each after I portioned them).
*Note: You could also try frying these in oil on the stove, but baking is much healthier!
Sorta flatten them out and form them into patties. Into the oven they go at 450 degrees. I like mine to be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, so I cooked about 30-35 minutes, (*carefully*) turning once.
Add your favorite burger toppings and condiments and serve on your bread of choice. I stuck with the Mediterranean theme I had going on and served mine on a toasted piece of pita bread folded in half. These keep pretty well in the fridge and would also be delicious at breakfast with a fried egg over the top!
Lentil Burgers with Mushrooms & Olives
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Keywords: bake entree vegan vegetarian gluten-free lentils mushroom kalamata olives
Ingredients (6 burgers)
- 1 small yellow onion, peeled & quartered
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1 cup carrots (about 20-25 baby carrots)
- 1/4 pound shitake mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 2 tablespoons warm water
- 1 cup cooked lentils
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1/4 cup parsley
- 1 teaspoon flax seed oil (optional)
- 1 tablespoon tamari
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 10 kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
- In the bowl of a food processor fitted with steel blade, add carrots, onion and garlic. Pulse until everything is well chopped. Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil over medium heat in a large saute pan and add this mixture to the pan.
- While mixture is cooking, chop up the shitake mushrooms in the same manner. Once the carrots and onions have started to soften a bit, add the mushrooms. Cook until all of the vegetables are soft and the mushrooms have released their liquid, about 5-10 minutes.
- While veggies are cooking, make a chia paste. Add 2 tablespoons warm water to 1 tablespoon of chia seeds and let it sit for 15 minutes.
- Dump the cooked vegetables back into the food processor, along with cooked lentils, the chia mixture, pine nuts and parsley. Process until smooth. With machine running, drizzle in flax seed oil and Tamari and sprinkle with cumin and cayenne. Season with salt, and process until everything is evenly mixed. Stir in the coarsely chopped olives. Refrigerate for about 20-30 minutes to help everything firm up. (You can refrigerate for longer if you are making these ahead of time).
- When you're ready to cook them, pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Using 1/3 cup measuring cup, portion the mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Flatten mounds and form them into patties. Bake at 450 degrees for 30-35 minutes, (*carefully*) turning once.
- Add your favorite burger toppings and condiments and serve on your bread of choice.
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